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Mahsa Amini died after being arrested by Iranian police. At Sotra, the family is in mourning.

Mahsa Amini died after being arrested by Iranian police. At Sotra, the family is in mourning.
Mahsa Amini died after being arrested by Iranian police. At Sotra, the family is in mourning.

– If it is true that she was subjected to violence that led to her death, those responsible must be punished, says the foreign minister.

Aliya Aili and her husband fled from Iran to Norway in 1993. Sonya and Diako Aili were born in Bergen.

(Bergens Tidende): During the summer holidays, Mahsa Amini (22) and Sonya Aili (22) were visiting their grandfather in Iran.

Although Mahsa lives in Iran, and Sonya grew up in Norway, the two cousins ​​had a lot to talk about.

When Sonya packed for the journey home, she received a present and a good hug from her cousin.

– It’s sad to say that, because you don’t know when you’ll see each other again, she tells bt.no.

It was to be the last time Sonya saw her cousin Mahsa alive.

This was the last hug Sonya (right) received from her cousin Mahsa. Photo: Private

Witnesses say she was beaten to death

It is almost a week since Mahsa Amini died after being arrested by the Iranian morality police. The BBC has reported that witnesses saw police beating her to death.

The reason was that she wore the hijab the wrong way, according to several foreign media.

Aunt Aliya, cousin Sonya and cousin Dikao Aili sit at Sotra.

Only a week separates the two cousins ​​in age.

– I feel guilty that I have all the opportunities I have, while the women in Iran cannot decide on their own future. They fear for their lives as soon as they go out the door, says Sonya.

Her mother says that she is happy that her children are brought up in Norway.

Ailya and Sonya say that the last few days have been unreal.

– The cry is stuck in the throat all the time. I cannot accept that this has happened to my beautiful niece, says Aliya.

“Please, I haven’t done anything wrong”

Aliya says that it was her sister, Mahsa’s mother, who called and told the family in Norway about what had happened.

Sonya and Diako look at pictures they have with their cousin.

Her brother was at the scene when the 22-year-old was arrested. He has told his family about the last words he heard from her.

“Please don’t take me. Please, I haven’t done anything wrong,” she is said to have said.

Diako imagines how his cousin has begged for his life.

– Think how scared she must have been. Our cousin intervened, but it ended with them both being beaten, he says.

Diako says that he remembers his cousin as a calm girl who never argued with anyone.

Will take up the matter with Iran

Iranian police have stated that Mahsa died of a heart attack and that it was “unfortunate” that she died in their custody.

But the family has denied that the 22-year-old had heart problems and also says that she was bleeding profusely from her ear, which is a sign of a blow to the head.

The incident happened at the same time that top managers from all over the world are gathered at a UN meeting in the USA.

Earlier this week, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights demanded that the Iranian authorities launch an “independent and effective investigation into the death”.

Foreign Minister Anniken Huitfeldt tells BT that Norway, like other countries concerned with human rights, will take up the matter with Iran.

Huitfeldt tells BT that the way Iran enforces the hijab mandate is oppressive to women. Photo: Olivier Matthys / AP

– First, I would like to express my deepest condolences to Mahsa’s family in Iran and Norway. The way Iran enforces the hijab mandate appears oppressive to women.

Huitfeldt says that a thorough investigation is needed to find out what happened to Mahsa.

– If it is true that she was subjected to violence that led to her death, those responsible must be punished, says the foreign minister.

Little reason to trust the police

Sindre Tollfesen is head of communications at Amnesty. He puts no faith in what the police have said happened in this case, he says.

– The morality police have a terrible record of systematic violence against women. The pictures of Mahsa in the hospital also show that she has been subjected to violence.

In recent days, there has been a great deal of interest surrounding Masha Aili’s death. Photo: Amnesty’s Instagram account (screenshot)

Tollefsen says that Mahsa’s story is unfortunately not unique.

– The moral police operate in a way that for us resembles lawlessness. Women are met with serious violence and imprisoned without knowing why, he says.

– The fight for very basic human rights has a long way to go in the country.

Ailya does not know if she will be able to go to Iran after the incident.

Don’t want more symbols

In Iran, the incident has triggered massive demonstrations, in which several people have been killed. Women burn their hijabs and cut off their hair in protest.

From Norway it is difficult to know what one can do to contribute, but the family at Sotra hope Mahsa’s story will be remembered.

– We have lost our Mahsa, but I hope the anger that spreads can lead to change. I don’t want more people to have to die to become symbols of the struggle, says Aliya.

Read more about this topic

The article is in Norwegian

Tags: Mahsa Amini died arrested Iranian police Sotra family mourning

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